Comments about ‘Ask Angela: I'm less active in the church and want help — but I don't want a visit’

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Published: Saturday, July 6 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

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I have found that if I can find a quiet place and then pray and ask Heavenly Father what to do I seem to hear/feel an answer. Getting into the outdoors in a beautiful place makes me feel closer to him.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

Another thought is, It's like taking vitamins, I can't tell that they do anything wail I'm taking them, it's when I stop taking them is when I know that they do anything. Prayer and hanging out with good people is the same as vitamins.

St Petersburg, FL

Prayerfully stdy the scriptures daily. Study guides are available through the lds bookstore.

kaysville, UT

Dear Considering Girl,

Please know that there are already many people praying for you to return. You are missed and loved! It is difficult every Sunday when we don't see your beautiful face. Your past teachers miss you, your bishop, and most likely your family misses you. I know. I am a mother who misses my son. As I sit in church with my other children my mind wanders to the one who isn't with me. I can hardly keep my mind on what is going on in church. I want ALL my family with me. I ache inside to feel whole again. I pray for the day he will be sitting on the bench beside me. As the years pass it doesn't get easier, and he moves farther away from the gospel principles he knew so well. My love for him is strong, but his love for him self is not as strong..

Please come back. You are loved, missed, and wanted. I want to put my arms around you and tell you how much you have been missed!

Aurora, CO

hmmmm...I find it puzzling that no one is telling "considering girl" that if she wants to be more active she needs to study Church history.

Aurora, CO

I'm not sure what she should do if she wants to be more active, but what she better not do is study Church history.

Aurora, CO

I'm not sure what she needs to do to want to be more active, but I know what she better not do, and that is study Church history.

layton, UT

RE: Listen to the Hymns, Choose a Christian Hymn.
i.e.. Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, That Saved a Wretch like me....I once was lost but now am found, Was blind, but now, I see. T'was Grace that taught...my heart to fear. And Grace, my fears relieved. How precious did that Grace appear...the hour I first believed.


There are certainly people who love and miss you. Many, like me, not might say or do the right things to make you feel comfortable, but will be happy for you when you do choose to come back. Talking to your bishop is a good place to start. Your RS president is most likely willing to help you the best she can with whatever she is able and you are willing to let her her do. The church has a lot of resources for various things online.

When you do come back, don't worry about folks that may judge you. In a way that is just judging folks in return. Like any situation, be the friend you would hope others would be for you and forgive the rest of us who are a little more clumsy. We're all in this journey together. Each of us at one time or another needs a boost or hand up.


...might not say or do the right things...

Manti, UT

Once upon a time, I was very "less active". I sure didn't want anyone talking to me about church because it would simply make me mad. But what I did do was listen to general conference. In fact, I watched the BYU channel because I knew I could turn it off. I let my visiting teacher come talk to me because she didn't discuss church and we were friends, but if we weren't, I don't think I would have wanted a visiting teacher. But, occasionally I actually went to Sacrament meeting. I walked in a few minutes late and left at the closing prayer so I wouldn't have to talk to anyone. But, at any rate, in the years I have been back in full activity, I look back at my "rebellious" years and wonder why I was that way. I feel very bad about the time I've wasted away from the Church and away from the Lord. Forgiveness is a great blessing and it's free and waiting for anyone who wants to embrace the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

Harwich, MA

Stay away from anything you're afraid of. Fear and anxiety are the doom of our mental health.

Provo, UT

Quite honestly, I am active, and I don't really want visits from Home and Visiting Teachers.

It is not a requirement or a "saving ordinance"...

moniker lewinsky
Taylorsville, UT

Charles, your response was sanctimonious and judgmental. There are about a million reasons this girl could have gone "inactive" that wouldn't lead a person to conclude that she doesn't want to be with "Father" again. Perhaps she views "Father" as somebody who loves people outside the Mormon faith. Maybe she views him as somebody who's a little more understanding than you are. And your assumption that she is not ready to keep a commandment(s) because she doesn't want a visit right now is incredibly pompous. Just how many commandments do you believe have been issued by your God, and do you honestly believe that this woman is no longer willing or able to follow any of them? Simply because she doesn't show up for a weekly three hour block? I don't know why she took a breather and neither do you. I would be willing to bet, though, has a lot to do with the assumptions you've made and that other people are likely to make about her.

San DIego, CA

Dear Considering, I suspect there are legitimate reasons you became less active. Are those reasons still true? Was it a time committment? Was it that you weren't getting the spiritual guidance you needed? Was there something missing that the church wasn't providing?

In the end, we cannot look to the outside world to find peace, because peace and happiness are things that exist fundamentally within us, not forced upon us, and not demanded of us by any external force.

My advice to you is to do the soul searching you need to take the action that is correct in your life. Find those things that make you happy and seek them out. Find the people in your life whose comfort you need, and find the purpose in your life that gives it meaning. And if in the end you believe the church will help you, then commit, and work to fix the things you had a problem with in the first place.

Eldersburg, MD


I liked this article. I also enjoy listening to your father and witnessing the strong Spirit he invites with an amazing testimony.

With anything temporal or spiritual whose fruits are not yet seen by them who remain unconvinced of their truthfulness and promise of unrealized benefits, agency remains the most important contributor to future action.

The activities listed in the article and discussion are powerful mechanisms to help someone personally foster a desire to submit their will to the Lord and seek for truth by way of faith. But, such a spark to fully immerse in these activities must first be as a seed planted in goodly ground.

For those who teeter on inactivity, the best anyone can do is sow seeds for them in love and charity. It is then the Lord, by the trial of life experiences, who waters the ground and nourishes the seed.

No one can convince a person that the principles and practices of the Gospel put to action will change outcome, save they are prepared beforehand by the Lord and affected by changes in their lives that call them to action.

Many seeds are however planted in the love for another.

Baraboo, WI

As a bishop of an LDS ward, I'd like to offer you this additional advice: write your bishop a letter. Tell him where you are spiritually, that you would like to begin the path back and be clear about what you want from the ward. Ward leaders sometimes struggle to know how to engage those who may be in your situation. The last thing we want to do is be overbearing - it's uncomfortable for all of us. If you provide guidelines and know what level of interaction you want you will avoid the unwelcome and awkward visits that you may receive simply because your name appears on a list somewhere.

The response given in the paper is great. Get back to basics on your own and progress. I would add this advice: find a faithful friend with whom you feel comfortable who can help you on your path back.

Paul in MD
Montgomery Village, MD

Considering, I have a daughter in much the same situation you are in. She attends church with a non-LDS boyfriend because, as she tells me, she prefers to attend church where people are friendly to her, even though they teach things she doesn't believe. Our ward is kind of small, the current ward members are truthfully not as open and warm as we used to have, and there is no one her age there anymore.

She also says she feels judged by the members. She's not doing anything wrong (other than not attending church regularly, etc.), but feels like ward members look down on her.

As I have told her, I can't say that no one is doing that, but the few that are have bigger problems than she does. We are all going to church to better ourselves, because we all have our own faults and problems we are trying to work out. Don't let the foolishness or thoughtlessness of others keep you from attending church. The cost is too high, as you've begun to realize.

Litchfield, IL

Considering Girl,

I just returned after about a year and a half absence. There were many times I would pray to my father in heaven and tell him exactly why I wasn't going, hoping that he would provide a way for me to find my way back. As President Spencer W. Kimball said, "Just Do It". Drag yourself out of bed on Sunday morning and go, even if you show up a few minutes late so no one can talk to you and rush out the door immediately following Sacrament meeting. As you go, the spirit will fill you with a desire to keep going. It may take a few weeks before you feel like getting up and going, but it will come.

I wonder if you keep a journal. We are all told to, but I know I can't find the time to do it faithfully. If you have one, even if it is as sporadic as mine, read it. It will help you to remember the joy you found in being there in the past. Reflect upon spiritual experiences you've had to help you remember how much you are truly loved in the heavens.

Utah Valley Guy
Springville, UT

When I was going through a divorce, I felt judged by some members and didn't enjoy going to church. But there are also many members - including most Bishops - who are caring & loving, & were a huge support to me emotionally and spiritually during those most difficult times of my life.

So as the spirit whispers to you a desire to go back to church, just be aware that you will have mixed experience with members. Learn to smile at the insensitive members (after all, the Lord taught us to love even our enemies - for our sake, not theirs) but open your heart and home to the loving members and let them help you find joy.

Above all, remember that the church is the earthly institution through which the Lord blesses us with His Spirit, through our brothers and sisters - and just like a family, there are positives and negatives. It's often said that the church was perfect until the Lord let real people join. That's worth remembering as you return to church and begin again to enjoy the tremendous blessings available to us through the church - particularly the blessing of loving and being loved.

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